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Countdown To Key West: New Talbot Excavating Cat to Debut

Last year’s Super Boat International Stock-class World Champion, the Talbot Excavating team will return to the SBI Offshore World Championships in Key West, Fla., early next month with a new 32-foot Doug Wright Designs catamaran. The 32-footer, which boasts the builder’s innovative Safety Cell-equipped cockpit, is in the final stages of rigging at Grant’s Signature Racing in Bradenton, Fla.

talbot-01Testing on the new Talbot Excavating raceboat will begin in two weeks. Photos courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix

According to Grant Bruggemann, the owner of Grant’s Signature Racing, more than 320 man-hours have gone into the rigging of the all-Kevlar raceboat. Like all Stock-class cats, the boat is powered by twin 280-hp Mercury outboard engines. Ryan Beckley of Kinetic Animation, also in Bradenton, recently measured the boat for its new vinyl graphics.

“Right now, we’re just finishing up the cockpit hatch with its four-point release system,” said Bruggemann. “The boat is complete—the seats, gauges and dash panels are in. We fired up the engines for the first time last week and did a full systems check. The upholsterer is making a cover for the canopy.”

Bruggemann, who rigged the cat with Andrew Carracino, explained that the cat’s Safety Cell is an egg-shaped structure made of foam-cored Kevlar designed to protect the driver and co-pilot from in the event of an accident.

“The Safety Cell surrounds the cockpit 360 degrees,” he said. “With all of the rigging we have done that enters the cockpit, we have utilized flanges and rubber inserts to seal off any potential points of water intrusion if the boat goes upside down. And we located all of those ‘penetration points’ as low as possible so if the boat goes over and ends up upside-down they will be at the highest point of the boat. We paid a lot of attention to things like that.”

Talbot Excavating team owner/driver Kyler Talbot and throttleman Jay Muller are scheduled to begin testing the 32-footer in two weeks in Bradenton before heading to Key West. For Muller, Talbot Excavating will be one of two brand new catamarans he’ll throttle during the SBI Worlds. He’s also the throttleman for WHM Motorsports, a new 40-foot Skater catamaran owned and driven by Billy Mauff that also will make its racing debut in Key West.

talbot-02More than 300 hours of rigging work have gone into the 32-footer. 

Editor’s note: Look for a complete feature on the development and rigging of the 32-foot Talbot Excavating catamaran in the November/December issue of Speed On The Water digital magazine. To download the September/October 2014 issue issue now at no charge, click here.

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